Should I start opening the nesting boxes even if i havnt seen eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ChiknPamperor107, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. ChiknPamperor107

    ChiknPamperor107 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 24, 2011
    Im waiting anxiously for the first egg!! I have 3 or 4 that squat down for me and have big combs, but i havnt seen any eggs. Should i open up the nesting boxes yet? AHHH I cant wait any longer! LAY FOR ME! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011
  2. AVF

    AVF Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 19, 2011
    Lafayette, CA
    How old are they?

    We waited until 4 1/2 months to open up the boxes. It has been a few weeks and we don't really expect eggs for a while. The hens have checked out the boxes but haven't seemed too interested. They don't hang out in them much - but they seem curious a bit.

    So as far as I can tell there was nothing wrong with making the boxes accessible a little early.

    I'm interested to hear what others have to say.

  3. ChiknPamperor107

    ChiknPamperor107 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 24, 2011
    They are about 4 and a half months I'd say. I put the nesting boxes in yesterday but I wasnt sure wheather or not to make them accesable to the chickens because not all of them are ready and i dont want them playing in the boxes.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011
  4. goldfinches

    goldfinches Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2011
    I never covered my boxes. We added them the first week our chicks were in the coop after the brooder. I had some of the babies sleep in them a couple of nights, but they soon switched to the roosts. So, they've been open for weeks, and not "used". I caught my chickens eyeing them over the past few days as they began showing signs of laying, and today, one climbed in and laid an egg. Funny how she knew exactly where to go!
  5. ChiknPamperor107

    ChiknPamperor107 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 24, 2011
    Haha. Well I went out to let them outside this morning and found a suspicious hole under the coop. Do you think they will start laying in it if I dont open the boxes soon enough? If not where else could they be laying? [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2011
  6. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I have two coops & never ever closed mine. I read about birds sleeping in them etc. My birds have bad habits but one good habit they have is laying eggs in their boxes. I usually wait awhile before I add the bedding & fake eggs but never close them off.
  7. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I'd open them, especially if their roost is higher than the nests, and I'd put the usual fake eggs in them -- golf balls, plastic easter eggs, whatever you have.
  8. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
  9. crossgirl

    crossgirl Day Dream Believer

    Mar 15, 2011
    Lakeland, FL
    My oldest are 16 weeks and we just added the nest boxes to our coop. I put golfballs in hoping to inspire them. I can't wait for eggs so my DBF can see the benefit of all his work.
  10. debryman

    debryman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2011
    Joshua Tree CA
    We put our girls in the coop at 8 weeks and never covered the nest boxes. They kinda strolled in and out of them once in a while but were never really interested until this week when we had our first egg on Thursday. She has laid three days in a row now in one of our two boxes and she is 20 weeks old. We also use one fake egg and she will lay in the box with the fake egg in it even though I move it back and forth daily. She tucks the fake egg under her while laying the real one. The first two were cute and small and the third was more of a medium size. It's all so VERY exciting!!!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by